Thursday, May 12, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Sometimes they’re teased as squirrel cops and deer detectives. Fact is, most people don’t have a clue as to daily duties performed by an Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officer (CEO).

Thursday, May 5, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The 2016 spring season may have ended Saturday with a bang or with a whimper for Alabama’s turkey hunters. For some, it was the spring of hope. For others, it was the spring of despair.

“It just depends on who you talk to,” said Chuck Sykes, Director of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. “Some people are griping and complaining. Some said it was the wors

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Alabama has an extremely valuable resource in waters off our state’s coastline. It combines great fisheries with manmade structures to create the nation’s premier reef fish destination.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

From its grand entranceway and majestic main hall to the Discovery Hall’s beehive and bat cave, the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s NaturePlex complex opens our connection to Alabama’s phenomenal outdoors experience.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Alabama hunters could be in store for the longest white-tailed deer season in history if one stipulation becomes a reality.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The bust was supposed to involve hunting deer over bait and hunting at night. During the investigation, Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries’ enforcement personnel discovered another significant violation that could occur anywhere in the state. Of the nine people checked during the investigation in Montgomery County, only one had a valid hunting license.

Kevin Dodd, Enforcement Chief with Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF), said a complaint from adjacent landowners was initially investigated in December 2015, by

Thursday, March 17, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Emily Vanderford is like many Alabamians. She had only a limited knowledge of the Alabama State Parks System, so she decided to do something about it.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

If the weather forecast is anywhere close to accurate, the start of the 2016 turkey season may be déjà vu all over again. Last year, weather was not the turkey hunter’s friend, especially those who were limited to hunting on weekends.

With the special youth turkey hunting weekend on the horizon, it looks like rainy weather will affect how hunters will approach the opener.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Boy, did I go on a fantastic squirrel hunt last weekend in the Grampian Hills outside Camden, Ala. Our hunting party bagged a grand total of two squirrels.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The Alabama Conservation Advisory Board has a great deal to ponder after the board’s first meeting of the year, held recently in Montgomery.

Before the board convenes again on March 26 at a venue to be determined, there will be several options to consider concerning the hunting seasons and bag limits.

A presentation by Chuck Sykes, Director of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division, provided the board with recommendations on season dates and bag limits.

Friday, February 19, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

It was one of those fishing trips that didn’t fill the ice chest with trophy fish, but it will forever be etched in my memory.

Although there was still a chill in the air, I decided to see if I could locate a few speckled trout for dinner several years ago on a solo trip in Mobile Bay.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The white-tailed deer still reigns supreme for Alabama’s hunters. The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division’s recent email survey confirms that fact without question.

WFF sent the email survey to 127,000 hunting license holders who bought their licenses online. A total of 12,801 of the email recipients responded to the survey.

“That’s 10 percent, which from everything I can determine is very strong,” said WFF Director Chuck Sykes. “For example, Mississippi sent a similar survey to 267,000 hunters and got 15,000 surveys back. We got back more than 12,000, so I thought that was a pretty good response.”

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February 4, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

If regional management of the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico is going to be realized any time soon, it’s apparently not going to be through the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

The Gulf Council met recently in Orange Beach, Ala., and Amendment 39, which has to do with regional management, was tabled after it lost support from the representatives from the five Gulf states.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Deer hunters in Alabama currently are likely experiencing the gamut of rutting activity across the state. Because of our state’s diverse topography and wildlife management heritage, some hunters may see deer in the heat of rut, while others are watching young bucks start to chase does as the rut kicks off. For others, the rut is so 2015.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Inspiration comes in abundance at the annual Buckmasters Life Hunt at Sedgefields Plantation in west central Alabama.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

If you’ve ever watched a show on HGTV called “Tiny House Hunters,” then you have an idea of what visitors to Meaher State Park will experience when they rent one of the park’s new ultra-efficient cabins.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Finally, Alabama deer hunters got a week of weather where sweating and pouring rain weren’t parts of the equation.

As we head into the new year, I’ve already heard through the grapevine of rutting activity. Judging from the number of outstanding bucks I’ve seen on social media sites, there definitely has been some chasing going on in some parts of the state.

As the rut kicks off, there is a tendency to want to head into the woods to look for rubs and scrapes to pinpoint the rutting activity.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

A brainstorming session involving the Alabama Marine Resources Division, Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF) and the Alabama Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) resulted in significant implications for those who love to fish in Alabama’s saltwater environment.

The three entities concluded that their combined efforts could best be used to develop a long-term plan for Alabama’s world-renowned artificial reef program.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Deer hunters can rejoice that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has not been found in Alabama or any of the surrounding states. That, however, does not mean we deer hunters can take that fact for granted.

Currently, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division is revising the strategy that will help WFF officials respond quickly should CWD be detected in Alabama in the future.

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